Poker Beginners Guide: What's the Low Nuts?

In this section we will show you how to determine the best possible low hand, the low nuts. If there are two or fewer different low cards on the board, no low is possible and the pot will go to the best high hand.

  Board Cards  
   
A   B  
       

It is impossible to make a low hand with this board, since there are only two different qualifying low cards on the board.

  Board Cards  
   
A   B  
       

Here there are three different low cards on board, so the nut low is simply the lowest two cards that are not on board. (In fact, these two cards will always be Five or lower when there are precisely three different low cards on board.) Hand A has the nut low hand here with 4-3 for a Six low: 6-4-3-2-A. The best that Hand B can manage is a Seven low: 7-6-5-2-A.

If there are four or more different low cards cluttering the board, it can sometimes become quite tricky to spot the nut low. Indeed, mistakes in reading the board do occasionally arise in these situations.